Doubt is the avid fan’s closest friend and biggest antagonist. We agonize over every pitch; self torture ourselves over every small setback or change in the narrative. This is probably doubly true at playoff time as the Sword of Damocles dangles over our favorite team’s season and legacy.
Today as the Astros head into the 4th game of the ALCS with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead in the series, there are a number of reasons to face the future with a positive attitude.
There is payback coming
After three games, the Astros’ cumulative numbers are .173 BA/ .274 OBP/ .591 OPS and they have only scored 7 runs in the series. Alex Bregman (.143), George Springer (.083), Yordan Alvarez (.000), Yuli Gurriel (.091), Robinson Chirinos (.000), Aledmys Diaz (.000) and Jake Marisnick (.000) are all below the Mendoza line with 4 of the 7 still back at the starting line. This will change.
Four games in four days
The Yankees are much more dependent on their bullpen for innings than the Astros with Domingo German gone and Luis Severino on a pitch count. Their pen has averaged more than 5 innings per game in the first three games and if that continues with no days off …. this could be problematic for skipper Aaron Boone.
Yes Masahiro Tanaka had a great outing against the Astros in Game 1 and comes back tonight. But historically, the Astros have done very well against Tanaka (0-2, 6.62 ERA in 7 regular season starts against Houston). When you look at Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole being available to pitch on regular rest in 3 of the next 4 games (if needed). This should put the Astros in better position going forward against Tanaka, James Paxton, the next two games and Severino in a 7th game or with less rest in a 6th. The 6th game may be a battle of bullpens, but again, the Astros may well have a better rested bullpen.
The Astros are in the Yankees’ heads
If you have a team worried about you stealing signs when (as blogger daveb so aptly stated) “….we get shut out 7 zip in the opener and only scratch out 3 runs in 11 innings in game two”….. then you are in their brains; you own their brains.
Karma is coming
When you throw things at players and say nasty things about their wives and kids, karma can be a b*&%h. There are choices being made every game by the Yankee fans around these ruffians and by the Yankee front office through their security to not stop this nonsense. I hope Josh Reddick hits a homer every game until they back off.
2017 still lives
The Yanks know we beat them in 2017. Our team knows we beat them in 2017. That can count for a lot in the back of each team’s minds.
The Astros are the better team
The Astros have much better starting pitching, equal offensive power, better fielding and a little less of a bullpen. And frankly they have a better manager. All this and the cameras in the bullpen, the mini-drones we fly in front of the catcher, and the whistlers we keep busy in the dugout give the Astros the edge in a best 2 out of 4 min-series. By the way I was just kidding about the cameras, mini-drones and whistlers….unless the Yanks are reading this, in which case THEY ARE REAL!